Police Scotland to Establish Center of Excellence to Tackle Cybercrime

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Police Scotland is to establish a “center of excellence” for cybercrime with specialist staff deployed to help combat online offences including child sexual abuse, fraud and the sharing of indecent images.

As reported by the BBC, the center will have at least 150 specialist personnel, initially bringing together 100 officers and staff already working in cyber-criminality and a further 50 staff. The strategy will be put before the Scottish Police Authority board later this week.

Deputy chief constable, Malcolm Graham, said: “The nature of crime is changing and Police Scotland needs to change with it. The online space is becoming a bigger part of the frontline of policing every day.

“As well as keeping people safe on the streets, our officers and staff are keeping children safe on their computers and smartphones in every community in Scotland. ”

Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET and former member of the Digital Forensics Unit of Dorset Police, said: “Cybercrime is evolving at such as rapid pace that law enforcement must respond accordingly to minimize the risk of losing control. Digital examinations with online elements have become a part of daily routine investigations, but the police face huge limitations, which are often linked to cost.

“Long have we seen a slow uptake in the rise of cyber-offences, and therefore it is impressive to see Scotland take the lead. Recognizing this change is the first step, but the real proof is in what the force can achieve with these resources. The coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns have hastened the rise of cybercrime – and it is unlikely that we will see a drop in the level of online offences the police will have to deal with.”

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